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Posts Tagged ‘Marie Cunningham’

LA’s Longest-Serving Patch Local Editor is Suddenly Down and Out in Beverly Hills

There’s something a little strange this morning about the Beverly Hills Patch home page. The familiar smiling thumbnail image and email address for local editor Marie Cunningham has disappeared.

That’s because we’ve been told Cunningham, Patch’s longest running local LE, decided at the end of another busy week to abruptly pack it in. As we reported earlier this week, she had recently been tasked with the additional responsibility of covertly overseeing West Hollywood Patch.

Cunningham, a Michigan native, came to LA in 2007 to attend USC Annenberg graduate journalism school, where she was awarded a Carnegie-Knight fellowship to do multimedia reporting on the impact of Prop 8 in California’s Central Valley. She joined Beverly Hills Patch in April 2010.

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AOL Patch-Work Approach Has Some Local Editors Stretched to the Limit

This is not exactly the way AOL likely envisioned marching Patch into the critical operational year of 2013. Lately, when a site loses a local editor, one of the company’s responses has been to upside-down replace the departing journalist. In lieu of a new hire, Patch is tasking a number of adjacent LE’s with the duty of doubling their coverage area.

“Our goal is to have a Patch in every community in the U.S.,” company rep Joe Wiggins told FishbowlLA. “As such, we are testing a number of different models, including about 20 sites in the SoCal area covering two or more communities.”

The model Wiggins is referring to is that of clearly hyphenated sites like Echo Park-Silver Lake and North Hollywood-Toluca Lake. But the kind of Patch double duty we’re zeroing in on involves sites where there is a generic email address and no LE listed.

Based on some research at the city council and other local LA levels, it appears to us that Marie Cunningham, local editor of Beverly Hills Patch, is also presently running West Hollywood Patch; Susan Pascal, overseer of Agoura Hills Patch, has her hands in Calabasas Patch; and Mike Szymanski, the company’s longtime Studio City cheerleader, has separately taken charge of the Sherman Oaks site.

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Following the Google Beverly Hills News Trail

What better way to quantify the efforts of local LA media to report on news of Google’s leasing of entertainment division office space in Beverly Hills than… Google News?

Turns out it was a tie. Marie Cunningham, local editor of Beverly Hills Patch, posted a short item about the April 5th city council approval of Google’s request at the same time as The Hollywood Reporter‘s Daniel Miller. However, Miller does a better job of padding the missive with mention of other tenants in the 331 Foothill Road building that Google and YouTube employees are expected to occupy by the end of the year.

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